Ordering cakes online vs local bakeries

Cakes are big business, especially birthday cakes. Many shoppers, especially those who aren’t interested in baking their own, will turn to one of three options: cake mixes, local bakeries or big chains. Baskin Robbins and Costco alone sell millions (4 mil and 6.2 mil, respectively) of birthday cakes every single year. There is a fourth option, however, which makes things a little more interesting for a cake-shopper. You can buy cakes online.

It opens up the possibility of getting cakes from anywhere in the country and means that you can have it delivered right to your front door. But since cakes don’t seem like they’d ship particularly well – especially if decorated for someone’s special day - the Wall Street Journal tested out several online cake sellers to see how the baked goods stood up to shipping.

The cakeries they looked at were: Cakes Across America, Creative Cakery, Bake Me A Wish, and Dragonfly Cakes. Hansen Cakes, in southern California, was used as a benchmark for local, non-shipping bakeries. Every cake shipped arrived “promptly and unsmooshed” thanks to overnight shipping or FedEx, and most lived up to expectations (especially the Dragonfly and Creative Cakery cakes).

Even so, the WSJ’s recommendation is that you stick with a local bakery for freshness and peace of mind. Not only can you see the cake in person before taking it home, but you can interact with the baker to a much greater extent than you could in any other situation. And it’s never a bad thing to support a really outstanding bakery in your area.

3 comments

  1. Interesting article, especially since I am taking cake decorating classes, maybe if I get good enough I can tap into the business. I have a long way to go.
    By the way, love the new site design!!

  2. Supporting a local bakery is definitely my choice. It’s the next best thing to making your own cake!

  3. my mom loves to send me creative cakery cakes (local for her, not for me) for my birthday, and they’re amazing so i can’t complain.

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